Family and Medical Leave Act

The Family and Medical Leave Act, or FMLA, does not apply to all employers.  Small private-sector employers and often not covered under the FMLA, which means that their employees are not entitled to medical leave under Michigan or Federal law.  How do you know if your employer is covered under the FMLA?

Employers who are public agencies are covered under the FMLA, regardless of the number of employees they have.  This would include the federal government, state government, local government, and agencies of those governments.  Additionally, all schools are covered employers under the FMLA, including public AND private schools.

For private-sector employers, you look at the number of employees to determine whether the company is covered by the FMLA and thus required to give FMLA leave to qualifying employees.  A private-sector employer is covered by the FMLA is “it employers 50 or more employees in 20 or more workweeks in the current or previous calendar year” within a 75-mile radius.  If someone counts as an “employee” for even just one day, he or she is considered to have worked for that week for purposes of counting employees and weeks.  Additionally, the weeks do not have to be consecutive (in a row).

Once an employer has met the requirements to be covered by the FMLA, by employing 50 or more employees for at least 20 workweeks in a calendar year, they remain covered by the FMLA for at least all of that year and the following year.  Here is an example:

A company starts in 2017 and employs 10 people.  By the end of 2017, it has 12 employees.  It is not covered by FMLA for 2017.  It steadily increases its number of employs and gets up to 50 in November of 2018.  However, it only employs 50 or more people for about 6 weeks of 2018, so it is not covered by FMLA for 2018.  It continues to grow and employs more than 50 people for all of 2019.  It is covered by FMLA for 2019.  It slowly starts losing employees and drops to less than 50 employees towards the end of 2020.  It is covered by FMLA in 2020, because it was covered in 2019 and because it employed 50 or more employees for 20 or more workweeks in 2020.  The company stays in business but never gets above 50 employees again.  However, it is covered by FMLA in 2021 because it employed 50 or more employees for more than 20 weeks in the previous year.  In 2022, the company will not be covered by FMLA unless it gets back to a point where it employs 50 or more employees for 20 or more workweeks in the year.

If you are not sure if you need to comply with the FMLA, call UAP and we’ll review your status.